Meaning Drives Our Will to Live — and Lacking Meaning Causes Us to Die

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At last, after covering the five, better known stages of grief first researched and posited by Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross over thirty years ago, the grief series concludes with the “sixth” stage, Meaning.

Meaning has propelled human thinking for ages. We have devoted fields to it, created religions around it, spoofed it (“42”), commercialized it, and done everything we can to try and find a universal answer to, “What is the meaning of life?” …


Can A Person Keep Enough Lies Floating to Cover Their Position?

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In past entries about Denialism, I’ve contrasted it from Denial, the stage of grief. I have also explained how toxic leaders can make denialism worse, by fomenting and validating people’s wish to believe the impossible in order to stave off not just the real, but the really inevitable.

To recap: Denialism is a subversion of the grief process, where you subscribe to impossible scenarios, hope for unlikely outcomes, support conspiracy theories, back toxic leaders, shun disbelievers, and practice antipathy to those outside your circle. Often, Denialism is political but…


How to Help Suicidal People

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Source: https://www.psychologies.co.uk/how-can-i-move-grief-podcast-ukcp

One night, I asked my wife for her permission to die. This happened about three months after I wrote her a suicide note. I told her I couldn’t bear the pain of living anymore.

She was scared and furious. She told me all I have to live for, who I would be living behind, and she focused especially on the painful burdens I would leave behind for her.

I stepped back. I entered counseling through the Veterans Affairs. The VA social worker gave me resources, encouraged me to attend online classes, and gave me the…


A Smoother Talking, Craftier Crook is Still A Crook

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Source: Getty

“If he had just told the truth….”

That is a common phrase you might read or hear regarding soon-to-be-former President Donald Trump. Pick an issue: COVID-19, the economy, his finances, or his personal life. Trump is perhaps the world’s most prolific liar, as far as public record is concerned. His last and biggest lie concerned him lying about the election itself. …


Acceptance Opens the Door to Healing — But It Will Always Hurt A Little

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“This stage is about accepting the reality that our loved one is physically gone and recognizing that this new reality is the permanent reality. We will never like this reality or make it OK, but eventually we accept it. We learn to live with it. It is the new norm with which we must learn to live. We must try to live now in a world where our loved one is missing” (Kessler, n.d. Five Stages of Grief)

During this grief journey, I have covered Denial…


Depression is Grief’s Winter

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Source: The Changeling (1980)

In this series about grief and current events, I have covered Denial, Anger, and Bargaining. Each of these three stages has their own characteristics, but what each one lacks is the bone-deep, energy-sapping impact of Depression. Depression is when grief plays out like a long, cold Great Plains winter, which feels endless and devoid of life. As grief expert, David Kessler (n.d.) writes,

“After bargaining, our attention moves squarely into the present. Empty feelings present themselves, and grief enters our lives on a deeper level, deeper than we ever imagined. This depressive stage feels as though…


Anger Expresses Pain & Covers Sadness, Emptiness

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“The truth is that anger has no limits. It can extend not only to your friends, the doctors, your family, yourself and your loved one who died, but also to God” (Kessler, n.d. Grief.com).

Anger is considered the Second Stage of Grief, per David Kessler, renowned researcher and writer about grief. It is the stage where we begin to reckon with the truth about loss and death. We don’t just grieve literal death. We also grieve drastic changes and huge shifts in our sense of reality. Our bodies strive for homeostasis, the status quo of our body’s processes and feelings…


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Pres. Trump, showing gasping after removing his mask & returning to the White House in Oct. 2020. Credit: AP.

Pres. Donald Trump has coronavirus. He says he’s beaten it, that he feels fine, that it’s no worse than the flu, and people shouldn’t “let it” get them down. His doctors and staff have agreed that Trump is fine, and things are okay, despite the pandemic spreading through the White House itself right now.

These are all lies. It’s abusive, deceitful, and will make America’s struggle against COVID-19 worse, because Trump is enabling denialism. That denialism has stalled collective efforts to counteract and respond to the pandemic. It has caused over 200,000 deaths in the country so far.

“Denialism,” is…


Danielle Bettmann is an Enthusiastic Coach, Mother & Leader

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Source: Wholeheartedly

“Parenting is a journey.” It’s a phrase you’ll hear from Danielle Bettmann often, if you meet her. A graduate in early childhood education, Danielle Bettmann started out working at young child learning institutions, to conducting home visitation, and ultimately, she formed her own parenting coaching business, called Wholeheartedly. Danielle’s skills, emotional intelligence, and warm personality endear her to everyone she meets. She starts every meeting stressing the importance of early childhood years on a person’s growth.

“The first seven years of a child’s life wires their subconscious,” Danielle said, “The people…


Bargaining is A Stage of Grief, No Matter the Case

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Source: Official US Supreme Court portrait

Rest in Peace and Power, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her honor passed this September, age 87. In her passing’s wake, a firestorm ensued.

Immediately after Justice Ginsburg’s death, social media lit up with quotes galore from various senators, particularly Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, squaring their comments about Judge Merrick Garland’s nomination to the high court in 2016 against our 2020 situation. Sen. McConnell dispelled all doubt quickly: he is moving fast to replace Justice Ginsburg; his own words be damned. This sparked outrage like a refrain to a song, as though…

Jack Rainier Pryor

I research and write about mental health & psychology, and apply them to current events.

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